The Indians did not believe in landownership. The Indians had a strong sense of community- everyone depended on everyone else. The Indians were Nomadic and followed the buffalo. Why were the Indian and White lifestyles always leading to conflict? The Indians were very religious and believed that the earth was sacred, having been put there by the Great Spirit. The Indians mutilated their enemies to handicap them in the next life. The Indians had no standing armies. Their warriors were also head of families and providers of food for the women and children. The Indians conserved the land and its resources out of respect for the Great Spirit and to keep up the stocks of the buffalo.
The Whites stayed in one place and fenced off the land. The Whites had professional soldiers who fought their battles for them The Whites regarded mutilated of the dead as barbaric. The land was seen merely as a resource to be used White society tended to put the needs of the individual before those of the commun- ity The Whites did not conserve the resources of the earth (like gold, timber etc) but exploited them. The Whites believed in the idea of manifest destiny. The idea was that it was their destiny to occupy the plains.
Why many white Americans thought the Great Plains were a desert • In the 1830s they could only see the problems. On some old maps it was marked as ‘The Great American Desert.’ • Harsh weather- it was extremely warm in summer with temperatures reaching 100 degrees. It was freezing in winter with blizzards common. • Lack of trees- this made it difficult to build any kind of homes • Absence of water- Nearly impossible to grow any crops.
Why were the Plains suited to the Indian way of life? • The tipi- easy to move, the tipi could be taken down in less than 10 minutes, ideal for people who were frequently on the move. It was cool in the heat and warm in the winter. • The conical shape- made strong winds pass around the tipi. • The Indians owned horse that allowed them to travel freely across the Plains.
What was more the horse or the buffalo to the Indians? • I think that the horse was important to the Indian because it was a sign of wealth in Indian society. They were also very important in the hunt of the buffalo and they could be given as a gift to the father of a potential bride. • The buffalo were also important because the Indians basically used every part of the buffalo. It was used for food, shelter and hunting. The Indian way of life was based around the buffalo and their journeys. • All in all I think that the buffalo was more important to the Indian way of life because their entire existence was based around the buffalo.